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Press Release

January 23, 2024

Contact: Adam Lynn
Honey Springs Battlefield, Oklahoma Historical Society
Office: 918-617-7125

Presentation on John Brown Planned for Honey Springs Visitor Center

CHECOTAH, Okla. — An author and teaching associate professor at Oklahoma State University will present the history of John Brown on Saturday, February 3, from 1-2:30 p.m. at Honey Springs Battlefield and Visitor Center. As the primary scholar for the “Encountering John Brown” traveling exhibit, which is partially funded by the Oklahoma Humanities, Dr. Jennifer Murray’s presentation will supplement the history presented in the exhibit as well as add new insight into the connections of those who fought with John Brown during the “Bleeding Kansas” years before fighting at the Battle of Honey Springs on July 17, 1863.

“Fewer people are as intrinsically linked to the sectional crisis of the American Civil War than John Brown. Through his actions in Kansas at Pottawatomie Creek in 1856 and then, three years later, his raid at the federal arsenal at Harpers Ferry, Brown forced Americans to question the moral consequences of enslavement and the role of the government in perpetuating the institution. The ‘Encountering John Brown’ exhibit at Honey Springs Battlefield offers a unique opportunity to explore not only John Brown’s life and legacy but also his influence on the Civil War in Indian Territory,” said Dr. Murray.

Dr. Murray is a military historian specializing in the American Civil War. She is also a former seasonal interpretive park ranger at Gettysburg National Military Park. Her first book, “On a Great Battlefield: The Making, Management, and Memory of Gettysburg National Military Park, 1933-2013,” was published by the University of Tennessee Press in 2014. Dr. Murray is currently writing a biography of Union General George Gordon Meade.

In addition to delivering hundreds of Civil War battlefield tours, Murray has led World War I and World War II study-abroad trips to Europe. Murray is a veteran faculty member at Gettysburg College’s Civil War Institute and a coveted speaker at Civil War symposiums and roundtables.

After the presentation, visitors are encouraged to tour the “Encountering John Brown” exhibit, view the 3D “Battle of Honey Springs” film, buy newly stocked items from the gift shop and tour the largest Civil War battlefield in Oklahoma.

For more information call 918-617-7125 or email honeysprings@history.ok.gov.

Honey Springs Battlefield is located east of US Highway 69 between Oktaha and Rentiesville. The Visitor Center is located on a hill near the Oklahoma Blues Hall of Fame in Rentiesville. Take the second left after reaching the Oklahoma Blues Hall of Fame Museum (driving from the west).

Funding for this program is provided in part by a grant from the Oklahoma Humanities (OH) and the National Endowment for the Humanities. Any views, findings, conclusions or recommendations expressed in this program do not necessarily represent those of OH of NEH.

Honey Springs Battlefield and Visitor Center is a division of the Oklahoma Historical Society. The mission of the Oklahoma Historical Society is to collect, preserve and share the history and culture of the state of Oklahoma and its people. Founded in 1893 by members of the Territorial Press Association, the OHS maintains museums, historic sites and affiliates across the state. Through its research archives, exhibits, educational programs and publications the OHS chronicles the rich history of Oklahoma. For more information about the OHS, please visit www.okhistory.org.

Oklahoma Humanities (OH) is an independent, nonprofit organization whose mission is to strengthen communities by helping Oklahomans learn about the human experience, understanding new perspectives, and participate knowledgeably in civic life through humanities disciplines such as history, literature, film studies, art criticism, and philosophy. As the state partner for the National Endowment for Humanities, OH provides a free educational magazine, Smithsonian Institution exhibits, reading and discussion groups, and other cultural opportunities for Oklahomans of all ages. OH engages people in their own communities, stimulating discussion and helping them explore the wider world of human experience.


Editor’s Note: Photos of Honey Springs Battlefield and Visitor Center are available upon request.

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